Swiss Bühler Group and Flottweg SE from Germany have signed a cooperation agreement to offer full value chain solutions to customers in the plant-based protein market. Combining Flottweg’s wet fractionation expertise and Bühler’s dry process expertise allows the two companies jointly to offer integrated solutions and optimized processes with the highest yields, reduced environmental impact, and best quality protein isolates.
Plant-based meat and dairy analogs can offer consumers more sustainable options to traditional meat and dairy products. Bühler is a leading solution provider for the upstream and downstream steps of this process, from intake, cleaning, dehulling, and grinding of pulses to extrusion technologies that enable the production of plant-based products with a fibrous texture similar to meat.
Flottweg, a family-owned company specializing in mechanical separation technology, complements the production processes offered by Bühler with its leading technology for mechanical liquid-solid separation. The company, with headquarters in Vilsbiburg, Germany, has been developing and producing high-performance decanter centrifuges, separators, and plants for solid-liquid separation for more than 60 years.
Bühler, also a family-owned company, will bring its expertise in dry processing of protein crops. Flottweg will integrate their mechanical wet separation technologies for protein such as pea and bean and starch crops such as wheat and maize. Meat analogs based on plant-based proteins require very pure ingredients. With Flottweg’s technology, it will be possible to produce products with 90 to 95% protein content.
A natural fit
“With their deep knowledge and experience in mechanical separation, Flottweg is a natural partner for us and will be our preferred partner for integrated solutions for our customers processing sustainable proteins derived from crops. Thanks to their expertise, we can now jointly cover the entire value chain for producing more sustainable plant-based protein for any kind of pulses to wet extrudates and dairy alternatives,” says Johannes Wick, chief executive officer Bühler Grains & Food.
“The partnership with Bühler will enable us to move forward and strengthen our position in the plant-based protein market,” says Dr Kersten Link, chief executive officer of Flottweg SE.
Serving a growing market
The market for sustainable proteins has been growing rapidly, driven by demand from consumers for more sustainable proteins. “Together with Flottweg, we can increase our offering to our customers in the whole protein processing space, in particular toward protein isolation but also for all the applications where a solid-liquid separation step might be required,” says Andreas Risch, head of Business Unit Special Grains and Pulses at Bühler.